Rutherford County Opioid Settlement

In 2021, Rutherford County experienced 141 fatal overdoses, a 48% increase from 2019. To respond to this need, Rutherford County established the Rutherford Opioid Board in 2022 to oversee strategic dissemination of opioid abatement funds to repair and strengthen the community. These funds are provided to counties in Tennessee as part of a $26 billion national opioid lawsuit involving pharmaceutical distributors and a manufacturer, with Tennessee receiving $700 million in anticipated payouts over 18 years from 2021-2038.

With Rutherford County expecting to receive nearly $4.5 million in opioid abatement dollars from 2023-2026, the Rutherford Opioid Board established the MTSU Office of Prevention Science and Recovery to assist the county in evidence-based utilization of settlement dollars and to serve as a resource to other Tennessee counties.

Rutherford County has directed these funds as available for community and government organizations to apply for on a rolling basis to meet needs pertaining to local work addressing substance use disorder. Organizations interested in applying for these funds can access the online application below and receive instructions on requirements for submission.

Access the Rutherford Opioid Settlement Funding Application HERE


Application Submission Checklist

Use the section below to ensure all sections of your application have been completed prior to submission.

Project Summary

This document overviews the applicant's proposal and identifies a target population, outlines goals and objectives, selects a main strategy, anticipates number of people served, provides a cost statement, and more. Applicants must also include the identification of an assigned agency contact for overseeing and reporting on grant progress.

Access the Project Summary template HERE.

Project Narrative

This narrative of the proposal is capped at 5-pages and focuses on describing the population served, identifying the need that you will address, outlining the goals and objectives used to measure success, identifying evidence-based practices for implementation, planning for metrics to measure progress and success, and explaining your organization’s capacity to achieve your goals. Narratives longer than 5-pages will not be reviewed.

Project Budget

This detailed budget breakdown with description of line items, any in-kind support from the agency, and budget justification for each line item requested.

Access the Project Budget template HERE.

Required Attachments

Organizations that submit an application must attach the following documents with their submission:

  • Copy of Annual Audit
  • Budgeted Revenues and Expenses for the Current Year
  • Budgeted Revenues and Expenses for the Prior Year
  • Actual Revenue and Expenses for the Prior Year
  • Rutherford County Fund Monitoring Form: Compliance Survey
  • Salary Schedule (if proposing grant funding for salary position)
  • 501 (c)(3) Determination Letter (if applicable)
  • Letters of Support (if applicable)

Application Submission Deadline Quarterly Vote to Award by Board
January 15th February
April 15th May
July 15th August
October 15th November

Submit Completed Applications HERE


Application Resources

Use the resources below to help inform and strengthen your application prior to submission.

Tennessee Opioid Abatement & Remediation Uses

This list outlines allowable uses with Rutherford County Opioid Settlement funding stratified by the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council's six main strategies. All activities outlined in an organization's proposal must be found from this list.

Access the Tennessee Opioid Abatement & Remediation Use list HERE.

Proposal Scoring Rubric

Proposals will be reviewed and scored by a committee from the MTSU Office of Prevention Science and Recovery. Proposals will be evaluated based upon the proven ability of the applicant to meet the goals of the project description in a cost-effective manner with a maximum of 100 points available. This in-depth rubric outlines the breakdown of eligible points that can be awarded per application section and the standards use to compute that score.

Access the In-Depth Proposal Scoring Rubric HERE.

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Development Guidance

This resource provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) outlines how to develop strong goals concerning programs related to substance use and can help applicants strengthen goals for their application.

Access the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Development Guidance resource HERE.

Evidence-Based Strategies Guidance

This resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outlines ten rising evidence-based practices for preventing opioid overdose in the United States. Applicants can refer to this resource to incorporate evidence-based practices within their grant application.

Access the Evidence-Based Strategies Guidance resource HERE.

Evaluation Metrics Guidance

To assist with providing examples of strong evaluation metrics for prospective applicants, this resource outlines example metrics within each of the six main strategy categories that includes allowable uses of grant funds. Applicants are not required to choose from this list for their metrics used in their application, rather these are just examples.

Access the Evaluation Metrics Guidance HERE.


Frequently Asked Questions

What organizations are eligible to apply?

Only nonprofit charitable organizations with 501©(3) status, chamber of commerce exempt from IRS Code 501©(6), nonprofit civic organizations, and government organizations are eligible to receive funds. Organizations are permitted only one grant per fiscal year. Awardees are eligible to re-apply for funding after successful completion of their grant term.

How much funding can our organization apply for?

While there is no set maximum on how much an organization can request in their proposal, the maximum funding per agency will be determined by the Rutherford Opioid Board.

When is the deadline to apply?

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with proposals being voted on quarterly by the Rutherford Opioid Board during the months of February, May, August, and November. To be considered for funding during quarterly review of applications, applicants must submit their entire application by the 15th day of the month prior to the application review meeting by the Board. 

What are the permitted uses of the grant funds?

Proposed activities in the funding request must be permitted from the Tennessee Opioid Abatement Council’s Approved Remediation List of activities.

How long would the grant period last if I were to be awarded funding?

All grants will be awarded within the timeline of the Rutherford County fiscal year. Once an organization is voted to receive a grant award, that organization will receive funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. Rutherford County operates on a fiscal year schedule that begins July 1st and ends June 30th. For example, if an organization receives approval for funding in August 2023, then their grant would be awarded from August 2023 through June 30th, 2024.

When will our organization hear back on if we were awarded funding?

The Rutherford Opioid Board will vote quarterly on all grant applications received during the previous three months to decide awarding. These quarterly votes will take place during the months of February, May, August, and November at the monthly Rutherford Opioid Board meetings. Following the ROB's decision to award funding, grant awards will need to be approved by the Rutherford County Commission's Budget Committee and the full County Commission. These other local approvals will delay the timing of directly receiving grant funds from the County by up to 4 weeks following the ROB vote.

What are the reporting requirements if we were awarded funding?

Grantees are required to submit evaluation metric updates quarterly based upon the specific data points cited in their grant proposal. This data will be submitted to the MTSU Office of Prevention Science and Recovery (OPSR) quarterly. The OPSR team will work individually with each organization to track success of their grant program to report back to the Rutherford Opioid Board.


Grant Writing Workshop

This resource explains the Rutherford Opioid Settlement Grant Application in-depth and provides potential proposers with resources to submit high-quality proposals.



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